Sunday, February 26, 2017

Wind And Car Talk -- Sunday, February 26, 2017

Active rigs:

Active Rigs4038121193183

2016 Wind Statistics

Source: 24/7 Wall Street
Data points (numbers rounded in some cases)
  • global wind power installed capacity at end of 2016: 500,000 MW
  • one year gain of just 55,000 
    • #1: Vestas, Denmark-based, 9,000 MW
    • #2: GE, 6,500 MW
    • #3: Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology, China-based, 6,400 MW
    • #4: Gamesa, Sapin-based, 4,000 MW
    • rounding out the top 10: Enercon, Nordex Group, Guodian, Siemens, Ming Yang, Envision
  • offshore:
    • 2016: 832 MW
    • 2015: 4,200 MW
    • China's Sewind, top supplier, manufactures Siemens turbines for China
    • Siemens, #2
    • GE, #6  -- behind Goldwind, Envision, and XEMC
  • North America
    • GE: 4,400 MW
    • Vesta: 4,300 MW
    • Gamesa: 1,400 MW
    • Siemens: 1,000 MW
  • Goldwind, Ming Yang, Envision: all of its activity in China
  • watchword for 2016: consolidation 
Considering how much more "important" wind energy is than solar energy, this is a pretty dismal report.

And now we have a new president.

Top Three Cars Bought By Those With Incomes At $400,000 / Year

The top three cars bought by those with incomes at $500,000 / year are very different, all three being in the high-end luxury category.

However, at $400,000 / year, the top three are quite interesting:
#1: Lexus (not surprising, perhaps)
#2: Tesla Model S (not surprising)
#3: Honda Civic (very, very surprising)
This was in a story heard on local radio; one of those weekend radio automobile shows.  How accurate that was, who knows? Edmunds also has a similar guide. Note where Ford's F-Series pickups were ranked -- that's also what the radio show said. I tuned in late and missed the rankings for lower income.

Kia Soul Vs Mercedes GLA SUV

Yesterday -- it's a long, long story -- I took a drive over to a Kia dealer to take a look at the new Kia Soul. Today, driving home from granddaughter's soccer practice, I thought I saw a Kia Soul going down Southlake Boulevard. Turned out to be a Mercedes GLA SUV.

Wheelbase and total length of both vehicles are similar.

Cargo space behind rear seats:
Cargo space with rear seats down:
Honda Civic:
  • trunk volume: 15.1 cubic feet
  • overall length: a bit longer than the compact SUVs
  • wheelbase: about the same as the compact SUVs
  • gas mileage: Honda Civic incredibly better than the Kia; I did not check the gas mileage for the Mercedes 
Tesla, Model S:
  • quite a bit longer than both compact SUVs
  • wheelbase: slightly longer
  • total cargo volume: 31.6 cubic feet
  • rear cargo volume: 26.3 cubic feet (similar to Kia Soul); almost double Honda Civic
Tesla Challenge:
The Model 3 represents a move for Tesla in the opposite direction of where the money is in the car business. A $35,000 compact sedan brings in a lot less than a $100,000-plus mid-size SUV.
For Tesla, the Model 3 is a far greater risk than the Model S or X were. The earlier vehicles validated Tesla's identity as a real car company, as opposed to a sexy Silicon Valley dream — that's what Tesla was when it was selling only its original Roadster sports car. The automaker has reliably lost money most quarters, but the gross margins on the S and X are enviable, around 20%.
  • And more:
You could argue that the Model 3 isn't truly a mass-market vehicle. Rather, it's more of a BMW 3-Series-type car, a play by Tesla to go after the lower end of the luxury market rather than the mass-market proper.
However, the Model 3 is setting up to be Tesla's flagship vehicle, its Model T, its VW Beetle — the car that changes everything, gets electric-cars to a critical tipping point, and begins the process of fulfilling Musk's overarching vision of a rapid human exit from the fossil-fuel age.
We already know, based on Tesla's projections for its cash burn in 2017, that the company will spend most of its cash-on-hand, about $3.5 billion, to launch the Model 3 this year. And that's just the launch — getting the Model 3 to full-scale production in 2018 could be wildly expensive.
Tesla built only about 80,000 vehicles last year. The carmaker's costliest days are definitely ahead of it, and we haven't even started to pay for additional battery factories, an expanded Supercharger network, and the price of integrating SolarCity after a 2016 merger.
Much, much more at the link. 
Trump Bashing

The headline: "Trump doesn't deserve credit for debt reduction." See screenshot. There's no question that if the alt-left controlled all three branches of government, they would be taking credit for "debt reduction." It's all about the narrative, alternate facts, fake news. In that order.

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